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Leonardo's Bridge

Where: This pedestrian and bike arch bridge is in Akershus, Norway, but da Vinci had planned for the bridge (to be named the Golden Horn Bridge) to span the waterway dividing western Constantinople for Sultan Bajazet II.

 

Stats: A scaled-down version of the design da Vinci had proposed, Sand’s bridge is 360 feet long and 19 feet above the ground. (The original was intended to be much bigger: 1,080 feet long and 120 feet above sea level.)

 

Awe Factors: The bridge is considered by da Vinci scholars to be the first civil engineering project in history based on a da Vinci design, but if it weren’t for Norwegian artist Vebjørn Sand’s keen eye, the small drawing in the corner of one of da Vinci’s notebooks might have remained just an idea. Instead, Sand proposed to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration that it help “reimagine” this mathematically and structurally gorgeous design. Today, the smaller-scale timber structure (da Vinci had wanted stone) near Oslo is, Sand hopes, the first of many Leonardo bridges around the world. Already the artist has created two versions of the design, crafted out of ice—one in Antarctica and the other at the United Nations in Manhattan. Sand and his team are working on creating similar bridges in Odessa, Texas; Karuizawa, Japan; and Istanbul, Turkey, where it was originally intended to be built.

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